Now that Republicans are in charge of the House of Representatives, they are moving at full speed to deliver on one of their biggest promises: funding the Internal Revenue Service.
“Our first bill will defund 87,000 new IRS agents.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Shortly after taking the gavel early Saturday morning, his band gave him a standing ovation. “You see, we believe that the government should help you, not harass you.”
Republican lawmakers have blasted the nearly $80 billion the IRS will receive over the next decade under the Democrats’ inflation bill since the law was signed into law last summer. Republicans have argued that the agency intends to hire an army of new agents to harass taxpayers, though the IRS has said the money will be used to improve customer service, support operations, and also address other needs. It has already hired several thousand new employees to help taxpayers file next season.
One of the House GOP’s first moves, which could take place as early as Monday, is a review of the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act. This would eliminate more than $71 billion in additional funding for the IRS.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday that the bill, which it does not hope to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate, would increase the deficit by more than $114 billion over a decade.
More background: Officials said Monday that the House vote would fulfill a promise McCarthy made in September that the top priority of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives would overturn “harmful provisions” of the Inflation Reduction Act. Urge lawmakers to support the bill. .
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has criticized House GOP legislation.
“The OCA emphasized what has been clear all along — the Republican IRS bill, which is a boon for wealthy tax cheaters, will add $114 billion to the deficit,” said Wyden, a Democrat.
The White House has already promised that President Joe Biden will veto the legislation if it goes to his desk, calling the bill “reckless.”
“Far from protecting middle-class families or small businesses, HR 23 protects wealthy tax evaders at the expense of honest middle-class taxpayers,” the White House said in a statement about the bill.
He also noted that the Treasury Secretary had already ordered that additional IRS funding not be used to raise audit-related rates to historic levels for small businesses or households with incomes of less than $400,000.
Republicans have already succeeded in cutting funding to the IRS, cutting more than $275 million from the agency’s budget in a February 2023 federal spending bill that passed last month. It provided the IRS with $12.3 billion for the current fiscal year.